\ ˈsēk How to pronounce seek (audio) \
sought\ ˈsȯt How to pronounce sought (audio) \; seeking

Definition of seek

transitive verb

1 : to resort to : go to
2a : to go in search of : look for
b : to try to discover
3 : to ask for : request seeks advice
4 : to try to acquire or gain : aim at seek fame
5 : to make an attempt : try used with to and an infinitive governments … seek to keep the bulk of their people contented— D. M. Potter

intransitive verb

1 : to make a search or inquiry
2a : to be sought
b : to be lacking in critical judgment … they were sadly to seekThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

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Other Words from seek

seeker noun

Choose the Right Synonym for seek

seek, search, and hunt mean to look for something. seek may be used in looking for either material or mental things. She's always seeking new friends. I seek the truth. search is used when looking for something in a very careful, thorough way. We searched all over the house for the letter. hunt is used for a long pursuit. I hunted all day for the right present.

Examples of seek in a Sentence

The office is seeking a salesperson. The prince is seeking a wife. Snakes seek the sun to warm their bodies. You should visit your doctor and seek his advice. You should seek medical help immediately if you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath. The church is seeking donations. He sought revenge for his son's murder. During the war, she sought asylum in Spain. They sought refuge in Canada. The company is seeking new ways to improve service.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Red Apple Program Katy Christian Ministries has open registration for its 2019-20 Red Apple Program which helps clients’ children from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade prepare for the opening of school and is seeking donations. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area calendar of events," 23 June 2019 In May, Jean Thompson, the executive director of the Ohio Assisted Living Association, went to the state capital, seeking a boost to the Medicaid reimbursement facilities receive, saying it is needed to pay for staffing levels and services. John Caniglia,, "Amid growth of assisted living, some renew calls for federal oversight," 23 June 2019 Immigration and Customs Enforcement will seek out families facing deportation orders, acting Director Mark Morgan said Friday. NBC News, "U.S. cities prepare for possible ICE raids targeting undocumented families," 22 June 2019 Half of that is being sought from the state; the rest would come from donors. Molly Korzenowski, Twin Cities, "Whatever happened to the Minnesota Zoo monorail cars? A St. Paul guy turned some into cabins.," 22 June 2019 Chinese policy types obsess over the idea that Team Trump is not engaged in a sincere negotiation, but is seeking to contain a rising China. The Economist, "A fly-on-the-wall account of what China tells American bigwigs," 22 June 2019 Some seek refuge in homeless encampments, including one that formed in a field northeast of Antioch Station, Sandoval said. Rachel Swan,, "BART’s end of the line surges with homeless as misery plays out each night," 22 June 2019 Yet the Seaport San Diego plan, as it’s called, is specifically considered in the update, meaning the developer will face fewer obstacles when seeking permits. Jennifer Van Grove, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Major changes in store for San Diego’s bayfront," 22 June 2019 Ebola survivor Masima Masema is looking after 7-month old Airelle while the girl's mother seeks treatment. David Mckenzie, CNN, "Fighting Ebola is hard but in the Congo mistrust and fear is making it harder," 22 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seek.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of seek

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for seek

Middle English seken, from Old English sēcan; akin to Old High German suohhen to seek, Latin sagus prophetic, Greek hēgeisthai to lead

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Statistics for seek

Last Updated

26 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seek

The first known use of seek was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for seek



English Language Learners Definition of seek

somewhat formal
: to search for (someone or something) : to try to find (someone or something)
: to ask for (help, advice, etc.)
: to try to get or achieve (something)


\ ˈsēk How to pronounce seek (audio) \
sought\ ˈsȯt \; seeking

Kids Definition of seek

1 : to try to find seek help … foxes called to each other, seeking again their lifelong mates.— Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain
2 : to try to win or get He sought revenge.
3 : to make an attempt Doctors are seeking to find a cure.

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More from Merriam-Webster on seek

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with seek

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for seek

Spanish Central: Translation of seek

Nglish: Translation of seek for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of seek for Arabic Speakers

Comments on seek

What made you want to look up seek? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a desire to acquire more things

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